In the wake of yesterday’s breaking news that the Bank of Panama  has closed for 5 days for a Bank Holiday, we reached out to SD reader PK, an ex-pat living in Panama for a boots-on-the-ground report on the Bank Holiday.
PK reports that with BancoNational shut down for a 5 day bank holiday, Panamanians “are talking about nothing else except this bank holiday“, and states that while there is no massive panic yet in Panama, it is NOT NORMAL for the national bank to shut down for 5 days without warning on an end-of-the-month payday weekend.
PK’s full report on the BancoNational bank holiday is below:
October Silver Giveaway

Panama banking report.  I just came back from town.  It is 10:39 eastern standard time, we don’t use daylight savings here.
I went to my bank, MultiBank which was open and withdrew a large amount of money.  No questions asked.  All 20′s.  I needed a big bag to walk out with this.  There was only one person ahead of me in line.  Monday, I will return and do the same thing.  I also went to my other Bank, BancoGeneral, and withdrew 500 dollars from the machine.  There was only one person ahead of me.
Apparently there is no panic here as of yet.

My wife went into a few tiendas just to get the feel of things.  The wives are talking about nothing else except this bank holiday.  BancoNational is the National bank.  This is where all the pensioners etc do their business as this bank is where all pensions get deposited or at least the vast majority of them.  On Payday, which is twice per month you would expect lines at the bank going out into the street and 2 police officers gaurding the chaos.  Of course, the bank is closed for the next several days.
I didn’t notice anything unusual in town.  The town is packed with people doing normal business buying food etc as this is the payday weekend.  No panic.  The bars are full now, very early with the men drinking beer which is normal very early in the morning.  I did notice several men bringing in containers full of change so they could buy cheap beer.
So, there is a problem but no one is panicking yet.  
I have zero trust in the system so I will be preparing and storing cash in the safe.  I have preps also.
This incident is a harginger for the future that is for sure.
It is not normal for a bank to close down on payday weekend when people need to buy food if this is nothing more than a shutdown for administrative purposes.  Count on that.

It is my guess that nothing is going to come of this banking holiday.  It is a set up.  Get the people used to it.  Make it seem normal, like a power outage or a water outage.  Then, when the big bank holiday needs to happen no one would be the wizer.  There are a lot of banks in Panama.  I think at least several hundred.  Panama is a very important banking hub for the rich to hide money.  This incident needs to be seen as a harbinger for future bailins. 


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  1. I would think if another “update” happened anytime within the year, people would not be “used to it” they’d be REALLY PISSED! (At least I myself would change banks) and people talking about it, could be seen as post off customers. After all I believe it wasn’t until day 3-5? In Cyprus when the bull dozed and lines pulled up in front of the bank. 5 days? I mean really? In the U.S. how many people have 5 days worth of cash on them? Not that things would fall apart in a week, but in two weeks there would be serious problems. You want riots? Freeze food stamp cards for two weeks! Haha!

  2. We might think about the fact that if nothing happens as far as a bail in, that it may be a smokescreen to soften the idea that it can happen in the U S, meaning putting alarmists at ease when a real U S bail in is really in the works.

  3. First, many thanks to PK for the on-site reporting…
    As to the content of his remarks.  I said exactly the same thing yesterday.  Its a drill.  Softening up process to give the SHEEPLE a rubber crutch!  Those dirty bastards.
    Oh, as for the elitists who have stuffed money in Panama sheltering it from just taxes, in US.  Fear not, they have already been protected from any such upcoming bailins you can take that to the bank…..LMAO…….

    • Agree, Silverrrrr, and very much appreciate the eyes-on comments from PK on this.  
       
      Not much seemed to be happening in Cyprus before they lowered the boom either… then, WHAM!  This could be something very similar…  Hmmm… small out of the way country, lots of foreign money and banking business going on, unusual activity via a so-called “system upgrade” that everyone who has ever had a bank that went through this process is calling BS on doing it for FIVE BUSINESS DAYS.  Imagine a casino shutting their doors for 5 days for a software and / or hardware “upgrade”.  The loss of revenue would be staggering, so there better be a damned good reason for it… and, somehow, a system upgrade doesn’t seem to cut it, as excuses go.
       

  4. There are still ways to hide money in Panama.  It just takes good attorneys who know how to set up the trusts.  Oh, by the way, this bank holiday is not mainstream news so it doesn’t have anything to do with the US.  Now, if the bank does not open up in 5 days it might get a little coverage.  It is foreign corporations that will have the most to lose here if a real bank holiday actually occurs.  There is tons of money in the Panamanian banks but it is not so much US dough.  Panama is a pretty insignifact nation as far as a place for US Xpats to hangout.  The canal is what makes Panama important.  Panama is still a great place for Non US crooks to hide money.  They do not need US money here.  There is plenty of money available here to launder and hide for non US citizens.

  5. Good call Shamus, Ranger, Silverrrrr, and Jccjktj – this may indeed just be a trial balloon / smokescreen to convey to the Sheeple “see?  there is nothing to worry about!”
     
    But it will still be interesting to find out WHO made large withdrawls just before Banco Nacional closed its doors for five days.
    ————————————————————————————————————————————-
    Just for the heckuva it, for your viewing pleasure here is some Silver-Porn eye-candy for you – a nice Proof 1962 Franklin Half I picked up a week ago:
     

    • @Mammoth: very nice coin young man ;)
      ‘But it will still be interesting to find out WHO made large withdrawls just before Banco Nacional closed its doors for five days.’
      We know who … Pollo Lol :)

      Edit: that doesn’t quite work as Pollo doesn’t bank there! Soz. I’ll crawl back into my hole :)

    • The coin appears to still be in the plastic wrapping that the mint sets were shipped in at the time. Does it contain a medallion from the Philadelphia mint? As it has no mint mark. It`s philadeplphia. I love the instruction card that came with these mint sets.

    • on those instruction cards… if it appears there is a problem with the coin, don’t worry because certainly there is not… or something to that effect.
       
      Glad to see that smugness in govt isnt something entirely new.

  6. The National Bank of Panama reports that (next Friday) September 27 
    I don’t get it, all this commotion about Panama. Hell they where notified a week ago about the upcoming bank weekend. Sure it’s kind of strange but give me a break, all this doom and gloom and HEADLINES over this.  Keep Stacking
     

    • @Proverbs1616 … that is a strange coincidence! I see the BancoNacional de Panama website simply has a message about the shutdown, and nothing more, no logo, nothing more.
       
      As AGX and Ed_B have said elsehwere, there is no need for them to shutdown to upgrade/maintain systems, so it’s something else, but what? Possibly, some fancy new spying software ??

  7. As mentioned in reply to the previous SD Panama Bank post, it appears that 18 months ago this same bank closed over the period of a weekend for the given reason of a technology update. This also happened during the last weekend of March, when salaries are often paid I’d assume.
    Maybe ample advance warning has not been given this time around, but what I’m attempting to convey is that this event does not appear to be unique to this bank; unless of course ‘this time is different.’

    Maybe PK can emphasise if this current shut down really does feel different?

    http://www.superbancos.gob.pa/documentos_ing/news_events/2012/AP_Cierre_Banconal_EN_REV.pdf
     
    [Thursday, March 29, 2012]
    Banco Nacional de Panamá Will be Closed to the Public; the Rest of the Banks Will Follow Normal Schedules

    The Superintendency of Banks reminds the general public that Banco Nacional de Panamá will suspend its service to the public from noon on Friday, March 30 through the end of Monday, April 2nd.
    According to Banco Nacional de Panamá’s announcement, it will be closed to update its technology platform, modernizing it so as to provide more efficient service to its clients.
    It is important to point out that the rest of the banks in Panama will be open for business on their normal schedules during these days.
    At the same time, we remind the public that Banco Nacional de Panamá’s Clearing House will not be open on Monday, April 2nd.
    Given the above, we recommend that everyone take the necessary steps to avoid potential problems.

    If this time really is a SHTF event, then i’d take the above advice to “recommend that everyone take the necessary steps to avoid potential problems” to mean prepare and stack!!

  8. Please, don’t be alarmist. This shutdown was announced by the bank well in advance:

    http://tvn-2.com/noticias/noticias_detalle.asp?id=119510

    That announcement was from 17.09.2013. It explains exactly what it is happening today.
    Sorry that this is my first post and sounds a bit negative. We all are waiting for the collapse to happen and I am sure it will come at some point, probably sooner rather than later. But in this case it is better to put the record straight. There are no bank problems in Panama right now.
    Have a nice weekend.
     

    • @Pferd … thanks for the link … so, they did give notice. But yet, why shut for so long? And, coincides with MCT credit union shutdown at the same time. They don’t need to shut for the given reasons, therefore, they are lying and so it is suspicious. I guess we’ll know in a few days, except that I can’t wait until then  :|

  9. The moment I heard that Panama was having an extended bank holiday my antenna went up. When I read that people had been warned a week in advance (though it was not blasted on the airwaves), it still did not deter my little red flag waving.
     
    In this global environment where no banking entity can be trusted ever…… it is irrelevant they warned the people ahead of time. To close for 5 days is not normal. I do not think a lot is going to happen on the surface, but I do believe over the coming months the true purpose of this shut down will be revealed. Maybe it’s preparation for the real ‘Cyprus style’ bank holiday? 
     
    The G20 heroes in Russia recently said they want to remove all tax havens…. In 2011, the Caribbean banking centres which include Bahamas, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Netherlands Antilles, and Panama held almost two trillion dollars in United States debt. We have the  right to be suspicious!!! Tax havens first then whose next???

     

  10. There might have been a warning given to the public about the bank closure.  I did not hear about it nor did my wife who is a fluent spanish speaker.  I did report that there was no panic on the street.  Which there is not.  This bank closure may not be a problem or an issue or a sign of future gloom and doom.  I do feel that it is better to be safe than sorry.  The clue in this bank holiday is that only one bank is closed.  The bank holiday to worry about is where they all close on the same weekend. 

    • “The bank holiday to worry about is where they all close on the same weekend.”
       
      That sounds reasonable to me but I keep thinking that if it came to that, it would be too late to respond to it.  Best to be ready for such things BEFORE they occur.
       

  11. hey everyone , new member here, finally decided to add to the conversation here , ,rather than just come here to take in the great info, it certainly opens the mind and makes you aware of the matrix that we are currently in.  that said looking into this whole panama bank holiday I have come across info regarding some large foreign banks getting the hell out of panama recently including royal bank, also read something about td bank getting hit with a 50mil fine that seems to be tied to what ever is going down in panama. Again all very odd considering the timing its all seems to be  with in the last little while here( 7days) from what I can figure. as JJ mentioned red flag has tripped in my mind. maybe someone else has more insight as far as this goes.
     
    peace n love, peace n love  
     

    • Welcome aboard, Silvertooth.  :-)
       
      At the moment we have part of what may well be an interesting story.  As JJ suggests, this could be something that takes a while to play out.  I agree with her that the banks cannot be trusted.  They have demonstrated that abundantly and there is no need for any further proof on that count.  Something seems afoot… but what?  No idea.  Maybe this is an audit that the US Fed or EU CB is doing with the Bank of Panama for some reason.  Could be a lot of things, I suppose… or nothing at all.  It LOOKS like something, though or at least a piece of something.
       

    • Well spotted. Similar message to the black horse of Lloyds TSB bank in the UK. The black horse is the 3rd horse of the apocalypse, which brings economic collapse. All banks in the world are in ONE system, and people don’t get that. They are also run by the sweetest bunch of people / sarc.

  12. Back from the range  lots of fun
    Reading PK I get this very funny visual of PK on his Vespa, racing out of town at the speed of scooter, with a huge bag of FRNs on his back, hunkered over the handlebars, eyes focussed intently on the road, glancing occasionally behind him for the Guardia Civil giving chase. 
    But on a more serious note 
    Test Test Test,
    Herd Herd Herd,
    Steal Steal Steal
    I completely forgot the offshore banking aspect of this small country.  It’s possible this ‘software technology’ upgrade as used as cover for a deep search, back channel  FIAT techno-portal with a protological level review of every account holder at this National Bank. Maybe even accessing the lines of communication with other banks, a software peek up the skirts and camisols of the locals 
    Test Test Test like Royal Bank of Scotland and Northern Bank, huge UK banks, who shut down for days and really screwed up account holders transactions.   
    Herd Herd Herd these large accounts into softer target banks.  Shove them into the small corral
    Theft Theft Theft like the Cypriot banks. Once the large herds are corraled;  WHAM.  Adios Dinero.    One of the more telling aspects of this first strike is if someone reports that they were told to remove their funds from the country before the oblivion strike
    A hard blow to a small relatively small country unable to to defend its customers. Maybe a Bitcoin search along with covert US account search but I bet many Canadians, Russians, Germans and Chinese holding accounts in the hundreds of banks in Panama are going to wake up, if they haven’t already  Big money goes where it’s safe and actions like this do not suggest safety.
    Sniff Sniff Sniff    NSA calling  Anyone home?

    • “Reading PK I get this very funny visual of PK on his Vespa, racing out of town at the speed of scooter, with a huge bag of FRNs on his back, hunkered over the handlebars, eyes focussed intently on the road, glancing occasionally behind him for the Guardia Civil giving chase. “
       
      Agreed, AG!  But don’t forget the goggles and the red silk neck scarf flapping in the breeze.  lol
       

  13. Panamanians think very suspiciously of banks in general.  I was told a very vague story by an attorney that panamanians did have a real bank holiday during the Noriega days in which no one had access to their money.  I would research this better if I spoke better Spanish.  Anyway, apparently this bank holiday lasted for several months in which all trade was done using barter and credit.  Panamanians have not forgotten this incident apparently.  They do not like to use credit cards here or debit cards.  They carry large sums of money all the time.  It is a cash and carry society.  When they get paid they cash their checks and carry the money.  Everything is paid in cash.  The actual money that is in these Panamanian banks belongs either to the elites or to foriegners.  Panama is only now beginning to develop a middle class but they have not lost their old feelings about money management.  It is also normal to go into a bank to make large withdrawals of money.  No questions asked.  A typical Panamanian feels that the best way to invest money is to buy land or cattle or some kind of real estate or business.  No trust in banks or financial institutions really exists here.  Panama does have a good recent track record for its banks.  There has only been one bank closure here in many years.  I think last year they did have one cooperativo go under which is kind of like a credit union.  Banking here is most likely much safer than in the US with the exception that we do not have the FDIC.  

    • “Panamanians think very suspiciously of banks in general.”
       
      They sound like wise people to me.
       
      ” I would research this better if I spoke better Spanish.”
       
      You said above that your wife is a fluent Spanish speaker.  That’s great.  Now all you need to do is limit your speaking to Spanish-only at home… with a few English words to aid in translation.  In a few months, you too WILL be fluent.  ;-)
       
      “Banking here is most likely much safer than in the US with the exception that we do not have the FDIC.”
       
      So banking deposits there are not government guaranteed?  What do Panamanians think of that?
       

    • Panama is really fairly close to a Cyprus type banking situation.  Absolutely.  Foreigners immigrate to Panama in droves, mostly from country’s that are screwed up much more than Panama.  Not long ago, our biggest group of immigrants was from Venuezuala.  I don’t know how much they are still coming nowadays but lots and lots of money flows into Panama due to this immigration.  We are even starting to get immigrants from Spain.  Anyone who has money is welcomed into Panama as long as they bring the ducky’s.  I can feel this immigration way out in the sticks by watching the prices of everything go up right before my eyes.  Inflation always follows money.  Panama could definitely be a Cyprus type candidate in the future.  

  14.          This from panamaguide.com yesterdAY

     

    U.S., Panama in talks on tax evasion pact -Treasury

    Friday, September 27 2013 @ 04:51 PM EDT
    Contributed by: Don Winner
    Views: 230

    By Patrick Temple-West – WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and Panama are in talks on a tax evasion agreement, the U.S. Treasury Department said on Friday, a sign of U.S. progress in implementing a crackdown on U.S. tax cheats.
    The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), enacted in 2010, takes effect in July 2014. It requires foreign financial institutions to tell the U.S. Internal Revenue Service about Americans’ offshore accounts worth more than $50,000.
    The United States does not have a full tax treaty with Panama, which has been listed in recent years by global authorities as a tax haven. But the United States and Panama did sign a tax-information exchange agreement in 2010.
    The Panama talks mark a significant step for FATCA implementation because they demonstrate Treasury officials are going to the heart of the offshore tax evasion problem, said Alan Granwell, a former Treasury official now with law firm DLA Piper who is advising foreign governments on FATCA deals.
    FATCA was enacted after a Swiss banking scandal showed U.S. taxpayers hid sizeable fortunes overseas from tax authorities. The Treasury has said previously it is in varying stages of FATCA negotiations with more than 50 countries.
    The United States is Panama’s largest trading partner. The Panamanian government said on Sept 18 on its website that it is working on a draft proposal for a FATCA deal, which it hopes to finish as soon as possible.
    Banks, funds and other financial institutions that fail to comply with FATCA face a 30 percent U.S. withholding tax on their U.S. source income, a penalty that could effectively freeze them out of U.S. financial markets.
    Panama, Belize and Costa Rica are three Central American countries the Organization for Economic Development and Co-operation has tagged as tax havens in the past.
    Panama and other countries with very low taxes “historically may have had bank secrecy,” Granwell said.
    In August, the U.S. Treasury completed a FATCA deal with the Cayman Islands, perhaps prompting other low-tax nations to accelerate their talks with Treasury.
    The United States already has FATCA deals with big trading partners such as Britain and Germany. The pacts are expected to help banks in those countries comply, Granwell said.
    The Treasury has concluded nine FATCA intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) with foreign governments, but it is struggling to complete deals with China and Canada, leaving two potentially gaping holes in the FATCA dragnet, tax experts said
    “There is a lot of tension between the U.S. and Canada,” said Bruce Zagaris, a partner with the firm of Berliner, Corcoran & Rowe LLP who is advising foreign governments on FATCA.
    “The Canadians have been really exasperated by the inability of the U.S. to have more concessions” for FATCA, he said.
    The Canadian Department of Finance told Reuters this month that it hoped to sign an IGA in the near future.
    In July, the Treasury postponed the start of FATCA to July 2014 from January 2014, in part to give U.S. negotiators more time.
     

    • If a person makes some money and then pays the tax due on it, what they do with it thereafter should not be any of anyone else’s business… including that of their government.  With a $50k limit on accounts, I foresee a rash of banks in various places offering a flock of $45k limited bank accounts, each with a different account number and access password, for anyone who feels the need to locate some of their financial resources off-shore.  Considering how sticky-fingered the US Gov and various banks have become, this seems a perfectly good idea to me.  Alternatively, one could have an off-shore account that has a safety deposit box attached to it and filled with gold coins.  Since these have a denomination stamped onto them, the bank could look at the coins and say, “Yes, they add up to $5,000 alright.  No need to file any US report for a balance of greater than $50k”.  ;-)
       
       
       

  15. PK 
    There was a nagging thought in the back of my mind regarding Panama and Greece.  I pinged Eric about these two dots since Greece is really up against it with a the chances of a military putsch or junta takeover.  Several members of the rightist Golden Dawnparty were arrested on what sounds like trumped up charges.  The military reservists threw down the gauntlet in Greece on Thursday with a list of 15 demands, some of which spoke directly to repudiating their debt, ridding themselves of the German hands around the neck of the Greeks and the re-nationalizing of Greek pledged assets.  
    There’s 240 billion in Greek Euro debt, 1.4 trillion in  derivatives.   If this goes down and there is historical precendence, the Cypriots were fed a bill of goods by the Euro troika to buy Greek bonds, twice, and got hosed twice, hence the reason for the bail-in in Cyprus, if there a chance that a Greek coup could rotate its financial effects to Cyprus and Panama. 
    If Greece defaults it could tip the entire european banking system into failure. A bank heavy country like Panama could be a focus of capital flight or capital control.

    maybe a stretch but the Greek situation could get out of hand quickly. You mentioned the connectedness. Panama may be a home for much of the funds fleeing europe, Russian funds that were moved before Cyprus went down. working to avoid that same fate and protecting assets at risk in europe.
     

    • “The military reservists threw down the gauntlet in Greece on Thursday with a list of 15 demands, some of which spoke directly to repudiating their debt, ridding themselves of the German hands around the neck of the Greeks and the re-nationalizing of Greek pledged assets.”
       
      That sounds somewhat like the Iceland solution, although Greece is much more connected to the EU / banking system.  The EU has already made a large “investment” in Greece via the loans they have made to them.  It is still not clear to me how borrowing more money is a good thing for a debt-ridden country, though.  It’s not working well in the US or anyplace else that tries it.  This is an act of desperation, IMO.  Anything to stave off immediate bankruptcy, even if it is a guaranteed future bankruptcy.  All governments will buy time with their citizens’ money if their back is to the wall.
       

  16. Here is another thought as to the sudden shutdown and the length of the shutdown. They might have found a trogen on there system which has replicated itself throughout their network.
    If that’s the case then all bets are off

    • Panama does not do things efficiently.  Nor do they care about customer satisfaction.  The customer is not always right in Panama.  When doing business in Panama, you find out that Panamanians are always right, even if it costs them a great deal of money.  Being right at any cost is the Panamanian way.  It is macho.  So if the bank does not open in 5 days like they promise it does not matter.  Not here.  If they are going to open it will reopen when they wish to reopen and the customer better appreciate all the efforts they are doing for them.  We have to chill out here and  let things flow here cause nothing happens in a timely manner and the customer here is being done a favor by the businesses that serve them.  We should be thankful we are not being cheated in fact, and be thankful to know that someday in the future the bank might just reopen.  Gotta love Panama.

  17. PK  Your commments spark interest and kicked up the dialogue several notches. WIthout you we’d be playing guessing games.
    Recalling my days as a banker, we may have been greedy grasping wretches but the customer service was first rate right from the front door.  We strived to make the customer feel welcome and well served.  This type of service is similar to the car dealer–glad handing and smiling.  That didn’t change the back shop much.  There’s where the money was made and customers found the service factor changed somewhat.  The customers became profit denter data points once they started borrowing or hard 7 figure accounts. Customer service quickly became client servitude.
    You mention about how the customer is treated poorly—my way or the highway–might be related to the tiers of customers. The lower end customer in our bank, transacting in cash was like most, was given perfunctory service. They cost the bank money versus the costs of servicing the customer. Those accounts make money, to be sure. but the real money was made in the fees, interest and other charges in the upper tiers. The lower tiers required a larger element of people power to get the job of banking done. The upper management also has a great deal to do with this ideal of customer service. That culture is reflected all the way from the board room to the teller line. Of course, the Goldman Sachs culture considers their own top tier clientele as Muppets, a demeaning term to say the least.
     But once that customer became a ‘client’, a means to garner a great deal of more income—like a casino’s comp-ed clientele who are guaranteed to lose lots of money in the ‘house’, the service level was conceirge level on its face.
    If business continues as usual after the short shut down,  it might still have a halo effect that gives the drones upstairs some strategies and tactics that allow them to assess new means to separate the customers from their money.  Anyone with money with a bank is now considered a creditor for the purpose of Bail-ins, no different that a paper good supplies or the electric company. They actually drop down to a notch or two in creditor priority, having their funds taken from them immediately rather than the long term repudiation of debt to higher priority creditors, who will probably be forced to take a large write down. It’s safe to say that with the legalized advent of Bail-ins, no one with money in the bank is safe from internal theft. You were wise to get your FIAT out of Dodge quickly.
    If I was to offer one suggestion, power to the people sounds like the immediate resource here—removing as much cash from the banks who offer little in the way of service but have the potential for removing large parts of the FIAT on deposit. When ANY SERVICE PROVIDER gives me the turd eye, they are fired as a resource at once and with vigor. Firing a banker is a great remedy and allows you to sleep better at night.
    Cheers to you,  Pollokeeper.  Let’s us know how things are doing in the streets.

    • @AGXIIK  Anyone who ever moves to Panama complains about customer service and the level of honesty and integrity that is used in the business practises here.  Panamanian people lack basic integrity. There is no honesty.  Customer satisfaction is not a policy here.  Despite this fact, there are a few people here that are very honest and do have integrity but it is not the rule.  It is the exception.  As far as the banking system goes, the service provided to the spooge is just a necessary evil.  Kind of like a utility.  The bank makes nothing off the spooge.  By the same token the banks don’t want your Gringo business either.  You can walk into a bank and tell the you have a million dollars to start an account and they will give you a list of items you need to provide them that will take months to assemble and they will not offer to assist the client in anyway.  You will then need to contact an attorney and pay him fees necessary to pay the bribes etc in order to just open a basic savings account.  Anytime you do business here you have to expect problems.  Even if you have a contract.  The problems are indescribable.  The attitude is that since you are a Gringo you do not deserve any respect.  They are out to screw the Gringo.  I could expound on this in detail but it would take too much paper.  It is like this in Costa Rica and Columbia as well, not just Panama.  However, I will say that I have heard better story’s about dealing with Columbians.  Columbians are better educated and have a little better integrity and honest apparently.  I have adjusted to my environment by lowering my expectations of people.  Since I am retired I can get away with this quite easily.  I don’t trust anyone over here.  Same feeling I have towards the Democrats.

    • “I don’t trust anyone over here.  Same feeling I have towards the Democrats.”
       
      I can understand that… and for the very same reasons, too!
       

  18. PS  it’s gratifying to see how most of us are now almost reflectively and reflexively suspicious about any change in the Debt and Fiat Empire. 
    While our musings may not rise to the level of totally critical thinking required to fully understand what is going on, we are not falling into the trap of Normalcy and Convenience Bias. 
    That way of thinking can make  you broke and seriously taken advantage by the banksters.  While we may find it inconvenient to leave a small amount of currency in the bank, the loss of our funds, after years of scrimping and savings, which could vaporize in an instant. Ask any of the businesses, retirees and just folks in Cypriot.
      We could be individually or collectively Cyprussed at any moment, just like the business owner who had all his funds stolen by the IRS because he operated a cash and carry convenience store.
    WHAM, and $35,000 was disappeared.  Typical of a bankrupt nation where the rule of law and the Constitution are now a speed bump on the road to theft of the people’s substance.

    • @AGXIIK
      PS  it’s gratifying to see how most of us are now almost reflectively and reflexively suspicious about any change in the Debt and Fiat Empire. While our musings may not rise to the level of totally critical thinking required to fully understand what is going on, we are not falling into the trap of Normalcy and Convenience Bias. 
      AMEN, BROTHER BEN! 
      SHOT AT THE ROOSTER 
      AND KILLED THE HEN!
       

    • ” We could be individually or collectively Cyprussed at any moment, just like the business owner who had all his funds stolen by the IRS because he operated a cash and carry convenience store.  WHAM, and $35,000 was disappeared.”
       
      That story seems far from over at this point.  It will be VERY interesting to see how the court case for this turns out.

  19. PS to EdB’s comments, we all now know the phrase “All markets are always manipulated all the time”.  There’s not even a shred of effort to rein in this thievery.
     I conclude that there is a corollary phrase to keep in mind when dealing with banks.

      “All bankers are always self serving all the time” 

      If a banker flashes a toothy grin, you’d be best to know that’s the smile of a hyena or Great White Shark.  That’s the smile of a predator who’s eying  his next meal. 
    I am totally serious about this.
    If you acquiesce he’ll be nice and eat you one bite at a time.
    If you struggle, he’ll wolf you down in one bite. He can’t help it–it is in his nature.
     These folks get continual training in methods to seduce the customers while maximizing removal of customers money. 
    Bail-ins are just the next level, with a 100% removal of the account funds as the final resort of the bigest fish up the food chain of banksterdom.  
    If you think you can ‘Jump the Shark”  trust me that the banker has every means at his disposal to prevent that from happening. If a banker takes you to lunch, they plan to make you their lunch.  The higher the level  of banker ranking that sits at the table with you, the higher the cost to you once they’ve finished their  plans to carve you up. You may think you got a seat at the table.
    Listen up chum, you are on the menu.

    I call this the Banker version of TRANSCENDENTAL MEDIATION. 

    “A well dressed  clean shaven person talking over your head while putting the bite on your wallet”
    Thanks to Mort Sahl

    • I have no doubt at all that you are correct in this, AG, but people like me have a secret weapon that the bankers fear more than anything else.  I don’t need the mofos and have NO problem whatever in letting them know that.  Muahahaha and all that!
       

  20. One more thing  After reading some of the really alt-alt news, there have been some rumors of military planning something that would deal with the treasonous poisonous nature of KLUMMAC and his cronies.  It’s becoming increasingly clear that he is engaging in a Stalin-like, somewhat bloodless purging of the loyal flag rank officer corps.  These people took an oath to protect the Constitution and with their lives if that is what it takes.  Obama is not very smart but he and his people read history and know what it takes to retain their high offices and what can be done to remove them
    The Italian government just collapsed with the resignation of Berlusconi’s party leaders.  Golden Dawn’s leaders were just arrested on what will probably be found to be trumped up charges.  The IRS/NSA noose is tightening around the necks of many foreign governments given the fact that these two agencies can either spy or coerce these governments to do their bidding.  This thuggish exertion of power is not an accident.   The tides of revolt over these revolting developments is growing.  Autocratic power hungry crony capitalists and banksters are working day and night to preserve their wealth and power.  These people start wars for less reasons than than.  The military may be the only recourse to preserving the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
    King George III still lives and his direct decendant occupies the throne of power in the Oval office.  Kenya was a British Colony once. 

    • Considering all the BS that is being shoveled out of the White House these days, a lot of us would welcome King George III back with open arms and signs that read, “WELCOME BACK, ALL IS FORGIVEN!”.  If Canada wants to annex the Pacific NW, I would not be among the resistance. ;-)
       
       

  21. Pollokeeper   I read your last post with a frown because I really dislike poor customer service.  I don’t care where poor customer service exists. It chaps my hide. There’s no excuse for a nationalized ethos of rodney Dangerfield.
    Then I reread your post and put  the name America in place of Panama/Costa Rica.  That brought a smile to my face.  Many in America are creating  a nation of coarse rude individuals with a hand out-world owes me a living attitude. 
    Please and thank you are no longer the lingua franca of commerce and human relationships.  Banks are probably much less accomodating than in my day,  willing to scrape the barnacles off our pathetic little  FIAT accounts in order to make a banker bouillabaisse but without the ingratiating smile.
     
     UndeRGRound.
    Turd Eye.  Similar to Hairy Eyeball but with dingleberries. The rest I leave to your imagination.

  22. @PolloKeeper , reading your 5:43 post I was once again reminded of Panama’s similarity with Russia.  Except that Russians are out to screw over everybody else, not only Gringos (Americans).  But it has been that way over there for centuries – just read the old Russian novels and you will see this yourself.
    I remember once being in a Russian bank and needing to use a pen.  When I asked the teller, she rudely told me to go out on the street and buy one!
    Unfortunately, with the HUGE influx of immigrants from Mexico and other countries to the south, we are rapidly assimilating this distasteful aspect of their culture into our own.

    • When two cultures blend, it seems inevitable that the resulting culture will consist of the worst of the two original cultures.  It’s the same with kids.  You put a good kid and a bad kid together and before you know it, you have 2 bad kids… never 2 good kids.
       

    • @Mammoth  Canadians complain of the same issues doing any kind of business I described in my post also.  Gringo refers to NorteAmericano’s and they will throw Canadians into the category without any problem at all as well. 

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